2020 Canadian Championship Final Update
The belated 2020 Canadian Championship Final is getting delayed yet again.
In light of the new delay and the fact that Forge FC has yet to be cleared to train by local health officials, Canada Soccer has opted to give the 2021 Concacaf Champions League berth to Toronto FC.
In order to placate Forge FC – which saw founder Bob Young write a scathing public letter to the CSA last week – the CSA will let the reigning CPL champions host the belated 2020 Canadian Championship Final at Tim Hortons Field when the cup fixture can be played.
Since there won’t be any Champions League qualification on the line, the match will be strictly for domestic bragging rights: No CPL club has ever come as close to lifting the Voyageurs Cup as Forge FC, while Toronto FC have been favourites on a near-annual basis.
While it’s not known when the cup final will be played, clearing the fixture off of this month’s schedule will be an ease of burden for Toronto FC: the side recently underwent a COVID-19 outbreak at training camp, resulting in the cancellation of Canada U-23 call ups and likely senior side ones still to be confirmed, too.
We recognize that the past year has been difficult for Canadians, and applaud the valiant efforts of all public health authorities including the Government of Ontario, Forge FC, and Toronto FC in support of hosting the Canadian Championship Final. All parties have agreed to coordinate the future scheduling of the 2020 final in a true show of collaborative sportsmanship.Canada Soccer President Nick Bontis
Instead, Toronto FC will resume training when it is safe to do so and will begin preparing for its Champions League match against Club Leon on April 7. The 2021 Major League Soccer season will kick off in the United States on April 17.
Forge FC, meanwhile, is still awaiting permission to begin training. Without a Canadian Championship Final to play in this month, the club’s next match at the moment is as-yet-undetermined Canadian Premier League opener set for late May.
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked absolute havoc on the 2020 Canadian Championship, which was originally a twelve-team knockout cup which was then converted into a single cup final that has now been delayed multiple times.
It is unclear what shape the 2021 Canadian Championship will take, though there now exists a possibility that both Forge FC and Toronto FC will have both 2020 and 2021 domestic cup matches scheduled at the same time throughout their respective league and continental fixtures this season.
Toronto FC qualified for the domestic cup final by way of winning a round-robin competition against CF Montreal and the Vancouver Whitecaps, while Forge FC qualified by winning the 2020 Canadian Premier League season.
Through the Concacaf League, the hammers came one match away from securing Champions League action in continental competition, but now see their hopes of 2021 Champions League action dashed by the delay of the cup.
It is unclear what the plan is for the 2021 Canadian Championship.